Presenteeism is a term referring to workers who spend more hours at work than necessary and has been found to hurt productivity.
Now, employees using annual leave when they are sick or to look after an eldery relative has emerged and is being called leaveism. Employees who take work home because they are unable to complete it during normal working hours also fall under this category.
According to the Deloitte report Mental Health and Employers: Refreshing the Case for Investment, 51% of employees worked outside of contracted hours and 70% who saw presenteeism at their workplace also observed leaveism.
Furthermore, the report found that younger workers are more susceptible to taking leave in this way, which could lead to burnout and financial stress.
In an era where people are afraid of losing their jobs, employees are taking on heavy workloads. A 2015 study of Austrian workers revealed that workers were more likely to use annual leave for sickness if they feared losing their jobs or being downgraded.
In order to keep employees satisfied and keep them from being impacted by leaveism, managers need to make meaningful connections with their employees. Additionally, they need to encourage staff to use annual leave for actual vacations and relaxation, as well as distribute work evenly so workers are not overwhelmed.
What’s important is creating a nurturing, supportive work environment in order to ensure that workers are satisfied and productive.